What is in a 'national' museum? The challenges of collecting policies at the National Museums of Scotland - NMS Research Repository
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Book chapter

What is in a 'national' museum? The challenges of collecting policies at the National Museums of Scotland

2004

Abstract

Collecting is a key function of museums. Its apparent simplicity belies a complexity of questions and issues which make all collecting imprecise and unrepresentative. Museums and the Future of Collecting exposes the many meanings of collections, the different perspectives taken by different cultures, and the institutional response to the collecting problem. One major concern is omission, whether this be determined by politics, professional ethics, the law or social agenda.Museums and the Future of Collecting encourages museums to move away from the collecting of isolated tokens; to move beyond the collecting policy and to understand more clearly the intellectual function of what they do. Here examples are given from Australia, Sweden, Canada, Spain, Britain and Croatia which provide this intellectual understanding and many practical tools for evaluating a future collecting strategy.

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